The No. 13 Alvord Lady Bulldogs were determined not to let another bad start at home lead to another loss Tuesday. After a horrid start, Alvord (18-8, 4-1) put on an offensive exhibition en route to a 75-62 win over the Paradise Lady Panthers (16-8, 3-2).“I take the blame for that. I don’t think we were ready,” Alvord coach Rob Schmucker said about his teams slow start. “Our game plan on defense was not what it should have been. We just have to be ready for the opponent, and not care about what name’s on their jersey.
“It’s a rivalry, and they wanted to win on both ends so much. We just have to put that in check.”
Paradise got off to the exact start they needed to on the road. Makenna Burt dominated the paint early on her way to a 29-point night, as the Lady Panthers took an 11-3 lead.
Alvord chipped away cutting the deficit to 16-10 late in the first quarter, but Burt scored six points in the final two minutes of the quarter to give Paradise their biggest advantage of the night at 22-13.
The Lady Panthers let up just enough in the second quarter to allow the Lady Bulldogs to make a decisive run. Alvord scored the first seven points of the period to get within two and took a 28-27 lead with four minutes till the half on a Marissa Schedcik jumper.
After a Burt bucket gave Paradise the lead back, Alvord ended the half on a 14-0 run, including a Lauren Hart running jumper at the buzzer. Alvord outscored Paradise 29-7 in the second period.
“We just lost complete focus in the second quarter,” Paradise coach Eddie Fortenberry said. “If you throw that out, it’s a different game completely. We stopped doing what we were doing.
“If you notice in any quarter that we did what we were supposed to be doing we played with them or beat them.”
Even though Paradise kept up with the offensive output by Alvord in the second half, the Lady Panthers could never recover from the second quarter.
“I usually can’t say anything about the offense with this group,” Alvord’s Schmucker said. “They get the right shots, know when to take the right shots and know who is open. Defensively we just have to get a mindset of stopping people. We just didn’t have the right execution on defense tonight.”
Paradise got within eight a couple of times in the second half, but every time they hit a big shot Alvord immediately answered.
“You score 62 points you’re supposed to win, so we’re not upset there at all,” Fortenberry said. “At best it was pitiful defense. We left people wide open for a 3-pointer, and we’re better than that. We’ll get the defensive part fixed, but I can’t complain about the offense.”
Alvord was led by Carley King with 17. Sam Hahn and Hart each added 16. Schedcik finished with 12, and Ariel Rogers tossed in 11.
Besides Burt, Paradise was led by Courtney Kerr with 14, and Makala Neighbors chipped in 10. Kaylee McConnell added nine.